The trio that makes up unhappybirthday come from Wismar, a small and very old city in Germany that has almost always been small. If you’re like me, you might know the town from its contribution to the formation of the Hanseatic League, an important thirteenth century trade federation and mutual defense pact formed by several Northern European commercial cities. Wismar is a much simpler place today and as the band tells it, rather isolated. A single record store in the city made that tableau a little more dynamic, connecting them with bands like the Raincoats, Young Marble Giants, and Units; inspiring them to make their own music, taking a synth heavy approach to 'Neue Deutsche Welle' – or, literally translated, new German-wave. By their own description, these songs are 'sometimes washed out like a raincoat or sticky like chewing gum', but never without a 'pretty melancholic root to howl.' 'Molly' is a sad prom-night-song about undefined yearning, while 'Kalt' is more bleak with its cold synth tones. Though these songs are personal, 'Sirup' is also both catchy and direct throughout.
"Unhappybirthday are a bunch of glum Germans hailing from the tiny Baltic port of Wismar, which, last time I checked, had a population of less than 50,000. So, really, what else is there to do there besides start angry, yet hook-laden, coldwave bands?" -The Stool Pigeon
"...sounds an awful lot like Future Islands covering some part of the Mega Man X soundtrack . . . The whole tape is touched with that kind of down-tuned 80s tiredness... shaped in the basements of bored teenagers messing around with synthesizers and playing video games. Kind of sounds like when I lived in Iowa." -Tiny Mix Tapes